THE BIG KILL
The team flies to Alberta, where they meet with respected Piikani elder Dr. Reg Crowshoe to learn about the sacred relationship between the buffalo and the ancient people of the Prairies. They then head to the world famous Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, where archaeologist Jack Brink takes them step by step through the most spectacular and successful food-getting enterprise ever devised.
Bodo Pound Site
Southern Alberta Sand Dune Fields
Symbols of earth and sky
The nomadic housing of the Plains was lightweight and portable. The painted area of the “bottom skirt” represents Mother Earth, and the pointed top, Father Sky, often showing seven stars. In between is the space of humans events – and the great drama of the Buffalo Hunt.
“What a lot of people don’t know is, ‘Tipi’ is actually a word that means home or house.”
– Jacob Pratt
At the edge of the Bison Plains
An epic combination of theater, courage and skill were necessary to take on the great herds of bison occupying the Plains. The slow shifting herd was teased into the critical direction of the jump using smoke, dancing and drive lanes – forcing the pace faster and faster toward an invisible drop in the distance. Once the herd gained enough speed, the leaders couldn’t shift course; the herd’s momentum carried it over the edge – and then the real work of harvesting the kill began.
“Listening to the wisdom and the stories, it was a very very rich day for me.”
– Jenifer Brousseau